Secret Symantec Norton Software “Killer!”

Most of you that read this Blog, or listen to the Podcast, know that I don’t like Symantec Norton Anti-virus, and other Norton Software. Way back in “the day” they were OK, but these days, Norton is almost like a virus itself! Why do I say that? Well, have you ever tried to completely remove Norton Anti-Virus from a system? Dewd! It is a pain! And, if anything is left of it in place, other Anti-virus software gets hosed! I wonder why? Hummmmm… well, anyway… if you have ever tried to do an un-install of Norton, you KNOW it is not as simple as “Add-Remove Programs!”

Apparently, Symantec knows this is a problem as well! So, they have a SPECIAL program that they give to customers that have problems removing the programs! Uh huh, you are probably asking the same thing that I did… that is, “If they can create a program that can completely remove the offending software, why not just make the ‘Add-Remove Programs’ Wizard work right the first time?” An interesting question, eh wot?

So, here is a link to the secret Norton un-installer:

Norton Un-Installer Program

A nice tool to add to your arsenal! Now, you can get rid of an expensive pretender and use the FREE Grisoft AVG, which actually works! By the way, here’s the link to THAT:

Free AVG Anti-Virus

Dr. Bill Reminisces! A New Podcast! #23

Dr. Bill Podcast – 23 – (02/11/06)
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2006 and reminisces of 2001 – A Space Odyssey, the 21st Century with Walter Cronkite, “Off” week for blogging, until late in the week, “off” week in the tech world, Printing Bacon?, New Battery Technology with nanotube structures for ultra-capacitors, Freeware and Shareware daily web site link, send me freeware, shareware, and Open Source finds!, the Doctor’s take on “toolbars” and browser “freebies”, Warning on Google Desktop from the EFF, the Doctor doesn’t get viruses due to “safe computing”, Geek Software of the Week: Express Burn, burn ISOs to CDs for FREE!, Nero Burning ROM is too bloated!, other freebies come with “Express Burn,” like “Switch,” that “translates” audio files from one format to another, EVERYONE needs to try Linux!, reminiscing on Xwindows and Digital Computers… the VAXman, OpenVMS systems, and more! How Xwindows works, and the NEW NX protocol, NoMachine and FreeNX, the Podcast runs over by a few minutes!!!

FreeNX: Linux “Terminal Server” Technology

Way back in “the day” I used Xwindows (X11) on both UNIX and VMS operating systems on “high end” (for the time) workstations and servers. It was a very cool client/server technology that displayed screens of sessions from one system on the screen of another. Though, for those of you that actually worked with it… do you remember that the “Client” and the “Server” seemed logically reversed? Yep. Got a grin out of you! Anyway, it was also SLOW. Very cool, but slow! X11 technology has been around for many years. However, now there is a “New X,” called, interestingly enough, “NX.”

The NX Protocol and Linux Terminal Server

“NX is a new technology that allows one to run remote X11 sessions across slow or low-bandwidth network connections. User experience with NX is one of excellent responsiveness. Users with previous remote X11 session experience are stunned by NX’s speed and its snappy application interaction. Moreover, NX also can connect to remote RDP and VNC sessions and offer big performance wins over TightVNC and rdesktop remote access. NX can do all of this from Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris and Windows workstations as well as from some types of PDA gadgets.”

Very small packets, very fast displays. It sounds like the IGA protocol and Citrix, doesn’t it? I am a Citrix Administrator and consultant, and I can tell you, it is a VERY HOT technology! So… what if you could have an Open Source version (FreeNX), and a fully supported commercial version, by a company that does BOTH? Well, here you go!

NoMachine.com: Commercial, Supported NX

“NoMachine NX is a Terminal Server and Remote Access solution based on a comprising set of enterprise class open source technologies. Thanks to the outstanding compression, session resilience and resource management developed on top of the X-Window system, and the integration with the powerful audio, printing and resource sharing capabilities of the Unix world, NoMachine NX makes it possible to run any graphical application on any operating system across any network connection as if you were sitting in front of your computer.”

Keep an eye on this one! It looks VERY COOL!

Geek Software of the Week: Express Burn

If you are a geek, you sometimes need to burn an ISO image to a CD. Say, you want to install Linux… you can download ISOs but you can’t just “copy” those ISO files to CDs!!! (Believe me, I know some that have actually tried that!) You need a CD burning tool! But tools like Nero Burning ROM aren’t free… and Nero has gotten huge and bloated with features that you don’t need, or want! So, how about a FREE CD burning tool?

Express Burn FREE CD Burning Software

Features:

  • Writes both data CDs (for files) and audio CDs (to be played in CD Players).
  • Records CD Recordable (CDR) and CD Re-recordable (CDRW) discs.
  • Support Jolliet and CDA formats.
  • Data CDs support multilevel folders and long file names.
  • Audio CDs are recorded with direct digital recording (so perfect audio quality is maintained).
  • For Audio CDs it supports wav, mp3, wma, au, aiff, ra, ogg, flac, aac and a number of other audio file formats.
  • Data CDs are fully ISO compliant with Joliet extension.
  • Includes command line operation for automation and integration with other programs.
  • Simple, easy to use interface for day-to-day operation.
  • Be sure to download and use the “freeware” edition.

    Google Desktop – Unsafe?

    I don’t like obtrusive doohickies anyway!

    Google Desktop Unsafe!

    “The nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation said a new feature added to Google Desktop on Feb. 9 is a serious privacy and security risk because of the way a user’s data is stored on Google’s servers.

    The new ‘Share Across Computers’ feature stores Web browsing history, Microsoft Office documents, PDF and text files on Google’s servers to allow a user to run remote searches from multiple computers, but, according to the EFF, this presents a lucrative target to malicious hackers.

    ‘[We urge] consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who’ve obtained a user’s Google password,’ the EFF said in a statement.”

    New Battery Technology

    Everything these days seem to run on batteries! Now, MIT has made a breakthrough in a new type of battery that could change everything!

    New Battery Technology

    “Joel E. Schindall, the Bernard Gordon Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and associate director of the Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems; John G. Kassakian, EECS professor and director of LEES; and Ph.D. candidate Riccardo Signorelli are using nanotube structures to improve on an energy storage device called an ultracapacitor.

    Capacitors store energy as an electrical field, making them more efficient than standard batteries, which get their energy from chemical reactions. Ultracapacitors are capacitor-based storage cells that provide quick, massive bursts of instant energy. They are sometimes used in fuel-cell vehicles to provide an extra burst for accelerating into traffic and climbing hills.

    However, ultracapacitors need to be much larger than batteries to hold the same charge.

    The LEES invention would increase the storage capacity of existing commercial ultracapacitors by storing electrical fields at the atomic level.”

    Why “Bring Home the Bacon,” When You Can Print It?

    Uh… yeah. This is weird. I know ink jet printers can do a lot of things… but come on! (Maybe it is a new diet craze?!?)

    Printing Meat for fun and profit?

    “Tissue engineers like Vladimir Mironov of the Medical University of South Carolina, and Thomas Boland of Clemson University, have been printing biomaterials with modified ink-jet printers.

    The cartridges are washed out and refilled with suspensions of living cells; the software that controls the characteristics of the ink is reprogrammed and you’re good to go. Boland and Mironov use layers of “thermo-reversable” gel to build up three-dimensional structures like tubes—capillaries, to use the medical term. When the tiny droplets, or clumps, of cells came together closely, they fused; the gel can be easily removed, leaving a tube of tissue.

    Just as printers contain inks of different colors, so tissue printers could contain different cell types to create complex structures.

    Now, it seems to me that a tube or complex living organ is a pretty complicated structure. Why not practice with a simpler, more two-dimensional form of muscle tissue—like bacon, for instance? Nothing like fresh bacon.”

    Uhhhhh… yum.

    Dr. Bill – The Podcast – Another Weird One! #22

    Dr. Bill Podcast – 22 – (02/04/06)
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    It really is Podcast Number 22… not 21! I got it wrong in the Podcast itself… drat! Talk about the Nyxem virus that exploded on Feb. 3rd… virus nastiness and virus signatures, download free AVG antivirus, make your Windows XP PC look like a Mac (if you must!), Phone spoofing as a business??? Kevin Mitnick joins the Jedi?, more details on the Nyxem virus and all file types it deletes, explanation of DBAN, our Geek Software of the Week, and how it works… warning: it WILL destroy your hard drive data! Review (in a manner of speaking) of Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 8.1 (It rocks!) Big News!!! Dr. Bill the Podcast is now a proud member of the Techpodcasts Network! Yay! Rejoice with the Doctor! Dr. Bill reflects on being a bum… kinda. Bye!

    Geek Software of the Week: DBAN

    Have you ever sold or donated a PC to someone else? Have you considered that even if you “delete” your private data, it is still recoverable? So, your data COULD be retrieved and used to get into your bank account, etc.! You need a way to totally ZAP your data! Well, here you go!

    Darik’s Boot and Nuke

    “Darik’s Boot and Nuke (‘DBAN’) is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.”

    DBAN comes in a floppy and CD-ROM version. And, of course, it is totally FREE!

    PLEASE NOTE: As Darkmoon points out in a comment to this post, there is NO “CONFIRM” option, once you choose to wipe your drive with DBAN, it will just WIPE IT! And, there is no return from this! Your data will be GONE! You have been warned! Don’t come crying to the Doctor! [Grin!]

    By the way, if you are looking for a utility to simply delete files securely, WITHOUT wiping the hard drive, check out simple File Shredder available here:

    Eraser

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